An eluding offense can have serious consequences so you absolutely need to retain a skilled attorney if you are facing this charge in Trenton New Jersey. The stakes are particular high if you have been charged with second degree eluding since it carries the possibility of up to 10 years in prison. The lawyers at our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, have the qualifications you need to insure maximum protection against a conviction whether your case involves allegation of a third degree or second degree crime at the Trenton Superior Court. Our firm includes a team of former prosecutors and accomplished attorneys who have been defending charges for eluding throughout Mercer County for over 100 years combined. To speak to lawyer with the tools to help you escape a N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b offense, contact our Hamilton, Lawrence or Princeton Office.Mercer County Eluding Charge
A charge for eluding arises under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b where a motorist “knowingly flees or attempts to elude any police or law enforcement officer after having received any signal from such officer to bring the vehicle or vessel to a full stop”. To convict an individual of this violation, the Mercer County Prosecutors Office must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the defendant was: (1) Operating a motor vehicle. (2) on a street or highway; (3) he/she knowingly fled a police officer; and (4) after receiving a signal to stop. The issue most often arising in this context involves whether or not the accused knowingly fled a police officer after being signaled to stop. This occurs if the motorist continues to driver after being made aware of circumstances which would have led a reasonable person to believe that they were being signaled to stop. If the state can prove each and every one of these four elements to a jury empaneled in Trenton or another county court, a conviction will occur under 2C:29-2b.Grading of an Eluding Offense
Typically, eluding is a third degree crime. The offense is elevated to a second degree crime if the flight creates a risk of death or injury to others. When an individual actually sustains an injury or death, elevation in this manner is relatively straight-forward. More often than not, however, these facts will not be present despite the prosecutor pursuing a second degree charge. The reason is because the state can also pursue a second degree eluding where a motorist’s actions caused a “risk” of death or injury. This circumstance is inferred if the accused committed a motor vehicle violation in attempting to avoid the stop. For example, if the driver runs a stop sign, speeds, commits reckless driving or another traffic offense, a jury may infer that risk of death or injury existed to enhance an eluding charge to a second degree crime as opposed to third degree.Penalties for Eluding
A guilty finding for third degree eluding results in a fine of up to $15,000 and up to 5 years in prison. Second degree eluding results in a fine of up to $150,000 and 5-10 years in prison. In addition, the No Early Release Act (“NERA”) applies at the time of sentencing for a second degree crime under 2C:29-2b. This provision of law requires that an individual serve at least 85% of the prescribed period of incarceration before they may be considered for parole. The court must also impose a driver’s license suspension of at least 6 months and as much as 2 years for either grade of eluding.Defenses to an Eluding Charge
There are several defenses that may be pursued on your behalf by a savvy eluding defense lawyer like those at your firm. For example, the prosecutor is obligated to prove knowledge on your part, namely, that you knowingly fled after receiving a signal to stop. It is entirely possible that the motorist had no idea he was being asked to stop and this is a defense that we can present to defeat an eluding charge at the Mercer County Superior Court in Trenton.Trenton NJ Eluding Defense Lawyers
When the stakes are as high as those in an eluding case, there is no room for inexperienced attorney. Do your research wisely and make certain that the defense lawyers you are considering actually possess the qualifications to provide you with the best opportunity for success. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, there is no risk taking as our team has over a century of combined experience with 5 attorneys who possess at least 15 years in practice. A member of our team is always available to provide assistance by contacting our Hamilton Office or one of our other locations. A lawyer is ready to help you now by calling 609–683–8102.